I think it’s neat that many times in the New Testament what we would call “death” was referred to as “sleep” by Christ and others. And in contrast, being unsaved or “lost” was often called “dead.” It doesn’t take much time in the Scriptures to get the picture that God sees things entirely differently than we do and His view is from a vantage point that comprehends far more than what our human eyes can see. What would be worse, for example: Being dead (physically) and being “in Christ” or being dead to Christ and still being alive in the body? Any true Christ follower will tell you they’d rather die than deny Jesus is the Christ… and that’s exactly what the Apostles were asked to do. Eleven out of twelve were killed refusing to deny their faith. The twelfth (John) was obviously allowed to live a little longer so God could use him to bring us the book of Revelation–that by no accident outlines the end of all life as we know it today and the beginning of real life!
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15